• Actual Nazis. America has a lot of them. These two lived here in Pennsylvania and one of them worked as a federal judge in West Virginia.
The search of the home and a cellphone revealed Riggs’ obsession with Nazis, Adolf Hitler and mass shootings, prosecutors said.
The cellphone contained photos and videos of Riggs posing with the assault weapon while wearing a shirt with a swastika on it. The video shows him cocking the gun and performing the Nazi salute. …
The FBI’s terrorism task force raided the house on Jan. 22 and found the weapons and ammo, along with knives, daggers and hundreds of bottles of alcohol.
The house was festooned with Nazi imagery and pictures of Hitler in almost every room, agents said.
In previous court proceedings, prosecutors and agents made it clear they believed Riggs could be a potential mass shooter. Among the videos on his phone was the 2019 mosque massacre in New Zealand and a picture of the convicted killer in a 2015 mass shooting at a predominantly Black church in South Carolina.
The story doesn’t say how either of these actual Nazis voted in 2020 or in 2016, but we can guess, can’t we?
I’d bet it was for the “pro-life” candidate.
• “Put up or shut up” seems like a smart response to conspiracists seeking drive-by engagement on their various Kraken/Q-Anon/covid-denial/blood-libel fantasies, so I appreciate David Brin’s advice here, which boils down to don’t bother arguing or attempting to “debate” these folks, just make them bet real money on what they’re claiming to believe.
Brin says this works for him, but I suspect it only works insofar as it makes most such folks go away faster. That’s certainly a win, but it’s not the same as actual persuasion or the deprogramming and repentance these folks desperately need. Alas, it’s not possible to make a wager with them any more than it is to have a genuine disagreement, and for the same reason: They cannot agree to any objective or meaningful arbiter of the facts.
Actually getting these folks to agree to a wager would require agreeing on terms to clarify who won that wager, and they do not possess an epistemology or accept that they live in a universe in which such terms are possible. You could try to gamble with them, but that would be like gambling with the delusional Jets fans from SNL’s “Sportsmax” sketch:
You’re free to make that bet, and you’re sure to win it, but that doesn’t mean you’ll ever convince them to pay up.
• Related to that, here’s a Mother Jones piece on “5 Tips for How to Actually Change an Anti-Masker’s Mind, According to Experts.”
And here’s the final line of that article, quoting one of those experts: “If I know somebody is really set in their beliefs, at the end of the day, you’re not going to change the way people think.” Good tip.
• The title for this post comes from Tom Waits’ creepy song-like thing, “What’s He Building in There?”
I’ve been thinking about that song ever since Christmas Day, when an apparent suicide bomber destroyed himself, his RV and most of a block of downtown Nashville. And even more so after reading this: “A Girlfriend of Alleged Nashville Bomber Was Sent for a Psych Evaluation After Telling Police He Was Building Bombs a Year Ago.”
In August of 2019, a girlfriend of Anthony Quinn Warner told Nashville police that she suspected Warner “was building bombs in the RV trailer at his residence.” The woman was then taken by ambulance for a psychological evaluation while authorities ignored the bomb information, claiming after the Christmas Day bombing that destroyed several blocks in downtown Nashville that Warner “was not on our radar.”
An attorney who represented both Warner and the woman in a civil case contacted authorities in August because he was concerned for her safety, according to The Tennessean, and when police arrived at her home, she was sitting on the porch with two unloaded weapons: “‘She related that the guns belonged to a ‘Tony Warner’ and that she did not want them in the house any longer,’ MNPD spokesman Don Aaron said in a statement to The Tennessean.”
She went on to tell responding officers that Warner had been making comments about bombs and was potentially assembling explosives in his R.V., later identified to be the same one used in the explosion. The attorney, Raymond Throckmorton III, then told officers that he was concerned for her safety and supported her claims that Warner had talked frequently about explosives and the military, police reports from the time show. But now police say that they “saw no evidence of a crime and had no authority to enter his home or fenced property” in a statement about the incident.